Beyond Infanticide: How Psychological Accounts of Persons Can Justify Harming Infants

The New Bioethics 24 (2):106-121 (2018)
Authors
Calum Miller
University of Oxford
Bruce Blackshaw
University of Birmingham
Daniel Rodger
London South Bank University
Abstract
It is commonly argued that a serious right to life is grounded only in actual, relatively advanced psychological capacities a being has acquired. The moral permissibility of abortion is frequently argued for on these grounds. Increasingly it is being argued that such accounts also entail the permissibility of infanticide, with several proponents of these theories accepting this consequence. We show, however, that these accounts imply the permissibility of even more unpalatable acts than infanticide performed on infants: organ harvesting, live experimentation, sexual interference, and discriminatory killing. The stronger intuitions against the permissibility of these ‘pre-personal acts’ allow us to re-establish a comprehensive and persuasive reductio against psychological accounts of persons.
Keywords infanticide  abortion
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DOI 10.1080/20502877.2018.1438771
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References found in this work BETA

After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?A. Giubilini & F. Minerva - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (5):261-263.
The Uncanny Mirror: A Re-Framing of Mirror Self-Experience.Philippe Rochat & Dan Zahavi - 2011 - Consciousness and Cognition 20 (2):204-213.
Five Levels of Self-Awareness as They Unfold Early in Life.Philippe Rochat - 2003 - Consciousness and Cognition 12 (4):717-731.

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